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Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Judges Attacked After Head-Scarf Ruling

CNN is reporting on the murder of a Turkish judge and the wounding of four colleagues by a lawyer.
"One of the judges, Mustafa Yucel Ozbilgin, was shot in the head in Wednesday's attack and died later in hospital, officials said.

Four of the judges -- including Ozbilgin -- had voted in February against the promotion of a school teacher who wore an Islamic-style head scarf outside work. The fifth had voted in favor."

If this attack had happened in Iraq or Saudi I wouldn't have blogged it. The fact is that it happened in Turkey which has embarked on a process that will lead to eventual EU membership. My question is this:

how can a society where an educated professional guns down judges who make a secular ruling in the face of Islamic opposition be reconciled to the liberal values of the current EU?

When Turkey joins the EU there will be freedom of movement for her citizens. Given the Polish example we can expect a wave of visitors from Asia Minor. Will the more extreme amongst them respect the secular nature of their host countries or will judge-killing become a risk when any issue pertaining to Islamic tradition comes before a court? Given the recent events surrounding the infamous Danish cartoons I suspect notions of judicial independence, liberal democracy and pluralism will cut no ice with some of the new "Europeans" from Anatolia.

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